Blame it on its slow pace of work or lack of will, the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) stands no chance of meeting the Supreme Court deadline of April next year for completing the target of installing high security number plates (HSRP) over its nearly 7 lakh old registered vehicles.
The SC had ordered every state/UT to finish the HSRP affixation process on all its old vehicles within two years from the date of commencement of operation. The SC had ordered every state/UT to finish the HSRP affixation process on all its old vehicles within two years from the date of commencement of their HSRP operation.
Even as the process of HSRP affixation in UT began on February 28, 2013, with new registered vehicles, the department opened the old registered vehicles for HSRP registration only in October last year.
With its one month-one series deadline policy, it has covered only eight vehicle series till June 30 this year, which means maximum of 80,000 vehicles, out of nearly 7 lakh old registered vehicles, going by 9,999 registration of vehicles per series. As the SC deadline is getting over in next seven months (March, 2015), the RLA faces a mammoth challenge ahead as it needs to cover at least 88,000 vehicles per month to comply with the SC orders, the target which seems impossible with its current pace of work.Sources said RLA was to be blamed for not accelerating the HSRP operation in Chandigarh.
Despite mooting several proposals, it failed to press HSRP vendor- M/s Real Mazon India Ltd-to open new HSRP centres in the city, which could give it opportunity to open multiple series per month from sticking to one series per month deadline, on for past 10 months now.
Many also questions the manner in which RLA has gone soft on the vendor on number of other issues, including opening the online HSRP services.
Sector-35 resident Surinder Maken said the residents could not be taken for a ride for the delay on the part of the RLA officials and the vendor. “The administration must work on increasing the infrastructure and open multiple series and finish this job at the earliest,” he said.
City-based advocate Ajay Jagga said: “As per the contract, the HSRP vendor is bound to affix HSRP in the premises of (RLAs or deemed RLAs. But the administration has failed to notify other places as deemed RLAs so far, thereby giving a space to the vendor to do away with its legal responsibilities. The delay questions the intention of the authorities concerned,” he said.
At present, the vendor operates with only one counter each in RLA head office in Sector 17, besides sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) South office in Sector 42 and SDM East office in industrial area, both declared as deemed RLAs by the Chandigarh administration in past.
Local RTI activist RK Garg said, “Chandigarh administration must notify e-Sampark centres as deemed RLAs and then legally put pressure on the vendor to set up its infrastructure there. Affixation centres could be opened up in four-five central locations to further ease the pressure.”
Currently, the vendor is busy fixing the HSRPs for the CH-01-AH series, whose deadline will be over in July 31. The RLA is taking up the series while going backward. After AH series, RLA will take up CH-01AG series next month.
RLA in-charge Kashish Mittal could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Another senior official of the department said the process of fixing HSRPs was moving at a slow pace. “We need to open more centres to hasten HSRP work,” he said.